Remembering Rwanda 20 Years On.
Conor Deane went to speak with Eamonn Meehan CEO of Trócaire about Remembering Rwanda 20 Years On.
The genocide against the Tutsi people in Rwanda in 1994 was one of the most horrific chapters of the 20th century. In just 100 days up to one million people were killed, mostly members of the minority Tutsi ethnic group.
In this interview, Eamonn Meehan shares with Conor Deane how he was among the first representatives from any of the aid agencies to arrive into Rwanda and what he saw and witnessed was truly horrific. However he wasn’t put off his mission, and with the help of a local hero, a Bosnian Franciscan priest who helped him they began to assess the immediate needs of the people. With this, news travelled quickly back to Ireland and the Irish people responded to the horror with an outpouring of unparalleled generosity by donating over IE£6,000,000 to assist the people of Rwanda. Where the West and the developed countries of the world failed to act, the Catholic aid agencies like Trocaire and the people of Ireland made a very deliberate attempt to respond to what was one of the 20th Century’s post war worst atrocities ever.
Whilst enormous work has gone into developing and rebuilding a broken and shattered nation, by no means is this work over. In fact there is a great need to continue the work in order to prevent a slip backwards into the blackhole that consumed Rwanda 20 years ago. Most fear that the world has not learnt any lessons from this atrocity and that many have become numb or have forgotten what happened and why. For this reason we interviewed Eamon Meehan who shared some of his experiences out in Rwanda and the reason the work must go on and be funded by the generous people of Ireland.